Welcome back to Leverage Your Spark. I’m Brandy Lawson, here riding shot-gun with you as we navigate the unpredictable world of business. Today, we’re breaking out our sleuthing kit as we go looking for problem areas in your business that are making off with your time, energy and money. We refer to these as leaks in your business. I don’t know of anyone in business that doesn’t aspire to running a seamless operation. Clients singing praises, employees high-fiving, and the business being a profit-machine. But more often than not, we find ourselves derailed from important tasks and projects and instead spending our precious resources on non-priority to-do lists longer than a CVS receipt.
We aspire to be efficient because we want to make the most of existing resources. We want to achieve client satisfaction, employee happiness and profit with just the right amount of effort. You know, Goldilocks style. This ties into creating harmony between work and life, spending just the right amount of resources for the task means there are resources left for other pursuits. To get a little nerdy for a moment, in science efficiency is often measured as the ratio of useful output to total input. So if you are putting in 7 hours of work a day, wouldn’t you like to be getting as close to 7 hours of useful output as possible? And you probably want that for your team too.
Unleashing Efficiency: Conquer Time Leaks and Boost Productivity in Your Business
Imagine if you were able to sit down at your desk everyday and use your time and attention perfectly across all the tasks on your to-do list. That you didn’t get bogged down in someone else’s urgent, but not important issue, and you didn’t lose an hour chasing down that thing you knew you did, but now can’t find anywhere. That you, and your team could get closer to an efficiency score of 1, where your useful output was almost equal to your total input. We’ll be real here and recognize that we won’t achieve perfect efficiency, but there is definitely room for improvement. The place to start with improving efficiency (and effectiveness for that matter), is to look for areas where there are big inefficiencies. We lovingly refer to these as leaks. Where are you leaking time, energy and money?
Unlocking Efficiency: Streamline Your Business Meetings for Optimal Productivity
You may not need a checklist of steps to locate leaks in your business. If there’s a puddle, that’s probably a great indicator. Sometimes this standing water comes in the form of standing meetings. Not all regularly occurring meetings are inefficient, but this is the lowest effort, highest potential payoff place to start. Check in with those standing meetings and ask yourself these questions:
- Why do we have this meeting? (i.e., what’s the purpose?)
- Is this meeting serving its purpose?
- What can we change to better utilize time, energy, and resources?
Now that you’ve asked yourself these questions for meetings, these three questions can also help identify leaks in other areas of your business as well.
When the efficiency of the day-to-day operations and efforts in the business can be improved, that frees up time, energy and money to go after the important but not urgent tasks and projects. Efficiency means that “big” projects can be a lighter lift, clients can be more satisfied and employees happier because overall frustration and wasted resources are reduced.
See you in the next episode and until then keep leveraging your spark to ignite possibility for ease & profit!